In this article, bipolar disorder facts and myths are collected. Very often people have the wrong representation of this disease.
Bipolar disorder facts and myths
People with bipolar disorder are maniacs and serial killers.
No. Maniacs and serial killers have antisocial personality disorder or/and psychopathy. Studies show that bipolar disorder is not widespread among serial killers.
Ok. Then people with bipolar disorder are geniuses.
Studies have proven that people with IQ above the average have the same chances to develop the bipolar disease as have the people with IQ below the average.
Bipolar disorder is just a dramatic name for mood changes.
No, it’s something more serious… Rapid thinking, irritation, inability to work, insomnia. It can destroy one’s life.
Bipolar disorder is a rare disease.
Not really. Around 4% of the human population suffers from bipolar disorder. And there are 5,7 million people with bipolar disorder in the USA.
Kids don’t suffer from bipolar disorder.
Starting from 6-years-old kids may experience the first symptoms of bipolar disorder, which may result in suicide attempts.
There are tests to diagnose bipolar disorder.
This fact is common among bipolar disorder facts. Bipolar disorder is a genetic disease. If your close relative has it, there’s a 10%-chance that you may experience something similar. But there’s no true way to determine the sickness. It is diagnosed on the basis of family history and the symptoms.
There’s only one type of bipolar disorder.
No, there is Bipolar Disorder I, II, Cyclothymia and Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder. Some types deal with mania, others with hypomania – it’s a huge difference.
People with bipolar disorder experience a few mood swings during a couple of hours.
The mood and the symptoms which connected with the disorder last, as a rule, a few days and they are much more serious and interfere with the individual’s ability to function. Usually, people with bipolar disorder undergo 2 to 4 cycles of mood per year.
People with bipolar disorder are either in the manic stage or depressive stage.
Some people really experience mood swings only from one extreme stage to another (manic and depressive), but the majority live in the depressive stage more often than in manic. Mania can express itself so mildly that you hardly notice one. People suffering from bipolar disorder can live long periods without any symptoms.
When people are in the manic stage, they are happy.
People in manic stage often sleep less, they are very energetic, walk too fast and hyperactivity may take place. But manic episodes can also make people angry, short-tempered and aggressive. Some people can become psychotic: they start eating anything that comes to hand or start hearing voices that don’t exist.
Bipolar disorder affects only mood.
Bipolar disorder also affects energy level, judgment, memory, attention, appetite, sleeping, libido and self-esteem. Besides, bipolar disorder is linked to the anxiety, drug abuse, diabetes, heart diseases, migraine and high blood pressure.
Bipolar disorder can be treated using meds only.
Though meds are the basis for bipolar disorder treatment, self-help plays an important part. The person is able to help himself when he controls the symptoms, exercises regularly, sticks to the sleeping schedule, eats healthy food, thinks positively, avoids stress and has a support from family and friends.
People with bipolar disorder can’t get better and lead a normal life.
Many people who suffer from bipolar disorder build a successful career. They have big happy families and normal relationships with other people. Yes, life with bipolar disorder is difficult but the treatment, healthy habits and support will enable living a normal full-blown life.